Getting that bread

Steve Ellis prides himself on making dough

Steven Ellis, father of head news editor Phoebe Ellis and bread and wine connoisseur, began his bread making practice when his wife Sarah Orman brought home a bread machine she had found at one of her favorite thrift shops.

“I started to practice and try out some recipes,” Steve said. “I got hooked.”

It’s been 10 years since his wife brought home that bread machine, and he’s gone through about 8 or 9 machines since then. According to the couple, bread machines are pretty easy to find at thrift shops and are cheap too.

So cheap in fact that at one point, Steve had three bread machines, and he would use them all at once if demand was high enough. Since then, he’s downsized to only two bread machines.

“I love doing it so much.”

Steve Ellis, bread maker extraordinaire

Though Steve loves his bread machines, he’s not a big fan of how they bake the bread. He said, “It’s too easy to make mistakes with a bread machine,” noting that adjustments can’t be made while using the machine, and that he has more control outside of the machine.

Mostly, Steve said he uses it to knead the dough. The machine kneads the dough more evenly than human hands ever could, according to Steve.

Since beginning his crusade for bread, Steve has increased his bread making ability significantly. He started mostly baking white breads, which is very conventional. He is now experimenting with different flours, types of bread and a variety of obscure ingredients.

Though he is by no means a professional, he enjoys trying new things and learning. He also enjoys fresh out of the oven warm bread.

Steve is not the only one who reaps the benefit of his favorite hobby. His friends and family also enjoy it, even going so far as to call the bread he gives as gifts “Steve Bread.”

“They love it. Sometimes they rip it apart right there with their hands,” Steve said.

His favorite bread to make is whatever he’s making next because he said, “I love doing it so much.” His favorite bread to enjoy is a “crusty peasant loaf with a hearty stew and a glass of red wine.”

The experience in bread making Steve has gained spans from holiday breads, which are generally sweeter, to breads from other countries that seem a little unconventional by our western American standards.

As Steve understands that college students are strapped for time, and bread making can take several hours, he understands that not everybody will be interested in picking up bread making as a hobby.

However, Steve would “encourage them to give bread making a try,” stating that students should “rise to the challenge.”

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